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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

Whenever charges of sexual misconduct shoot through the air, an arrow or three hit Bill Clinton. That’s inevitable, given his history of philandering capped by the notorious Oval Office tryst with Monica Lewinsky.

What was not inevitable, but surprising, is the crush of liberals swallowing whole a fishy story that Clinton raped a woman.

In a New York Times column titled “I Believe Juanita,” Michelle Goldberg writes, “We should look clearly at the credible evidence that Juanita Broaddrick told the truth when she accused Clinton of raping her.”

She goes on to cite no credible evidence. Nor does she point to a source that does.

In The Atlantic, Caitlin Flanagan asserts that Broaddrick “very credibly accused” Clinton of a sex crime. Did she? All Flanagan offers is a retelling of Broaddrick’s version of events. That is not enough.

The demand that any woman’s claim of rape be automatically believed can have tragic consequences. How many black men have been lynched on false charges of raping white women?

Make no mistake. Any charge of rape must be seriously investigated. Prosecuting sex crimes does pose a special set of difficulties. It doesn’t follow, however, that the woman’s statement is beyond scrutiny.

We cannot know for sure whether Clinton physically attacked Broaddrick. We do know that independent counsel Ken Starr included her claims in his microscopic investigation of Clinton’s sexual transgressions. His report deemed the findings on the Broaddrick case to be “inconclusive.”

Why would that be? Here are some reasons:

Broaddrick had submitted an affidavit calling her story of sexual assault “untrue.” She later recanted. Appearing on “Dateline” in 1999, Broaddrick couldn’t remember the month of the alleged violent assault.

In “The Hunting of the President,” Joe Conason and Gene Lyons describe the concerns over Broaddrick’s witnesses. Two were sisters enraged that Clinton had commuted the death sentence of their father’s convicted killer. A third was the man with whom Broaddrick was having an affair at the time, a man she later married.

Another woman insisted she had seen her friend’s swollen lip and torn pantyhose the day of the alleged crime. But Broaddrick’s then-husband said he had not noticed an injury. Nor did he recall her telling him about the incident as she said she had.

More surprising than the casual acceptance of a questionable rape charge against Clinton are liberals using the occasion to declare that Clinton should have resigned from the presidency over the Lewinsky affair. Can’t they tell the difference between rape and marital infidelity?

If Democrats want to do a “reckoning” over Clinton’s sexual conduct, they do have material to work with. Few doubt that Clinton behaved at times in a piggish manner. And his conduct with Lewinsky was inappropriate and vulgar.

But Lewinsky has said over and over again that their sexual encounter was totally consensual. The gap in age and power may have been large, but Lewinsky was a college graduate in her 20s.

Again, this is adultery, not rape. By the way, why do so many members of the Clinton hanging party choose to believe Juanita but not Monica?

It’s a total rewriting of history to say that Democrats gave Clinton a pass back then. They were furious. But they saw Starr’s investigation as a politically inspired perjury trap to undo the successful Clinton presidency.

Look, if we are entering a new era in which powerful men pay a price for harassing women or abusing their dignity, that’s great progress. But this pileup on Clinton over a dubious accusation of rape is unseemly. Many of Clinton’s tormenters are getting intellectually sloppy, and that could boomerang on what’s otherwise a good cause.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com.To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

 

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11 responses to “Must We ‘Believe’ Juanita Broaddrick? No.”

  1. FireBaron says:

    Considering he changed her story a couple of times, and her witnesses were about as reliable as a blind man reporting on a tennis match, even Ken Starr didn’t want anything to do with her, and he was groping for anything at that point.

  2. marriea says:

    I know Clinton was a cad.
    But if I remember correctly they went to a motel to go over some sort of business issue.
    A motel to go over some business issue,.sure you’re right.

  3. Well, this is getting to be a tangled web of cases reflecting an historical imbalance between women and men, with men taking advantage of the other gender.

    Against this backdrop of abuse against women, we have verified cases from historical archives of women using the excuse that a black male raped them in order to cover up an adulterous affair; men in recent times and with high profiles committing adultery not once but in a serial fashion; women using this social/spiritual disease of sexual abuse for political gain in some cases to benefit a political party; and a culture that glorifies abuse of women on TV and in the movies for decades.

    Another reason for men to stop and consider the admonition of Baha’u’llah regarding the equality of women and men, to observe fidelity in one’s relationship, to speak out against “injustice” no matter who is involved or the time and place, and to set an example by our words and deeds. No political message will change the heart and the soul so that the individual comes to instinctively understand the difference between right and wrong without having to be told.

    It may be too late for the older generation and college students to attain this level of consciousness, but at least we can start to inform the youth and children about the importance of recognizing the concept, as articulated by Baha’u’llah as a metaphor and in elsewhere in plain “Persian/Arabic” in His Writings that women and men are as the two wings of the bird of humanity. That the abuse of one “wing” disrupts the flight of the “bird” of humanity.

    At which time, in some future generation, this will be noted by women and men as a Dark Ages Period what we are witnessing today. And the men at that future time won’t have to worry about a past incident of sexual abuse or adultery coming back to bite him on his rear end with the force of a shark attack.

  4. plc97477 says:

    Looks like it is pissing off the right that the liberal presidents seem to be more popular.

  5. stcroixcarp says:

    Today is the anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Accord in 1995. This agreement ended the war in Bosnia. Bill Clinton was president then, he may have been a sexual harasser or worse, but he advanced peace in a part of the world where 250,000 people died of war. Clinton’s sex sins cannot be excused, but he wasn’t totally a bad person or evil politician. What has trump done to make any human’s life better since he became president?

  6. dpaano says:

    As I’ve said before, I personally think the Lewinsky matter was a set up perpetrated by Gingrich and his buddies in an effort to get rid of President Clinton. After all, it was Monica who did the seducing…..it was NOT President Clinton who made the first move! Unfortunately, however, he did act on her seduction, but if she hadn’t made that move….it may not have happened.

    • Marilyn says:

      I agree. I think she was planted in the WH for the very purpose that you named. Further proof is the fact that she kept the semen-soiled dress and gave it to her mother, of all people, for safekeeping.

  7. Theodora30 says:

    Qi am sick and tired of the line that because Monica was young Clinton abused his power. Are we really going to pretend that for some women pursuing a sexual liaison with a powerful man is a deliberate strategy to get ahead. Why else do you thing Melania or Marla was willing to go out with a pig like Trump?
    The quintessential example of this is the Washington Post journalist Sally Quinn who rose to a position of great influence in the D.C. circle of elites by deliberately seducing her married boss, Ben Bradley of Watergate fame. Queen Sally expressed extreme moral outrage at Clinton’s dalliance with Monica, which was the ultimate in hypocrisy because her husband had said in his memoir that she initiated a relationship with him by sending anonymous memos which led to a affair that broke up his marriage. All the influential D.C. crowd knew this but they joined in expressing outrage at Clinton and kept attending Quinn’s soirée.
    What made this particularly disgusting is that many in this crowd worshipped the ground the much more promiscuous and risky JFK trod. But then a lot of them – Sally, Tin Russert, Maureen Dowd and Chris Matthews, for example – were Irish Catholics so somehow that made JFK’s behavior OK, or at least something they would willingly overlook. I always had the sense that a man from a wealthy elite family being promiscuous was viewed as proof of his sophistication but for a guy from nowheresville Arkansas, it was proof he was trailer trash. If Democrats need to examine their conscience over anything , it is not Clinton’s behavior, but Kennedy’s. He had an affair with Judith Exner, the mistress of the powerful mob boss, Sam Giancana, and towards the end of his life with call girl Ellen Romitsch who had to be deported because she was almost certainly a spy for the Communists.

    • What you say is right on target. There is a dual standard, and always has been, in American society—and indeed across the globe—when it comes to how we absolve the lechery of the hoity toity. The lower classes have to deal with the double whammy of being poor, and held to a different standard regardless of the transgression. This duality of perception affects both Parties as well.

  8. On another note, and was alluded to in “Theodora’s post”, there is a danger I perceive which came to mind as I reflected on these lurid tales being brought out publicly.

    And what I fear is that in our rush to point out the indiscretions and sex abuses carried out by men across the political/religious spectrum, we may be overlooking the victims themselves in our sense of urgency to exonerate any disreputable man based on our political views.

    The much larger issue is not which man was more egregious than the other, or whether a political motive is involved behind some of the allegations, but is dismantling this eons-old notion of men being superior to women and giving men carte blanche to treat women any way a man prefers. This issue is getting buried as we try to excuse our “preferred” person. This is NOT about Trump’s lechery compared to the lechery of Franken’s, or whether Kennedy was as immoral as Bush the First, ad nauseam.

    This is a global problem, as was for example exemplified in the Qur’an where the Prophet Muhammad clearly and emphatically outlawed the cultural practice of female infanticide so widely practiced in Pre-Islamic Arabia. Many infants who were born female would be taken outside the tribal community by the father, buried alive under the sands in the desert, because the girl was deemed less important as a human being and as an “asset” to the tribe’s welfare than the boy infant. Naturally, some females had to be spared to propagate humanity.

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